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20 Books to Read Before Turning 20: YA Edition

Woohoo! Turning the big 2-0 this week means reflecting on the past, living in the present, and looking forward to the future. In the years leading up to this momentous occasion, I have read a large amount of books in my lifetime, ranging in genre, topic, and age base. This compilation reflects my personal opinion on the top 20 books that I believe everyone should read before (or after) they turn 20, as they will change the way you view certain topics, as well as make yourself seem more knowledgeable in literature (which is always a plus when it comes to conversations).

NOTE: Those that have a (M) next to the name have been turned into a movie or TV show, while those with (S) touch upon sensitive subjects, such as rape, suicide, or gun violence

1.     All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

2.     Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (S)

3.     I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

4.     The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (S)

5.     All American Boys by Jason Reynolds (S)

6.     The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (S)

7.     The Border by Steve Schafer (S)

8.     The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

9.     Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin 

10.  Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

11.  Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (M) (S)

12.  The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

13.  Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (M)

14. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

15. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

16.  The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (M)

17.  13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher (M) (S)

18.  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (M) (S)

19.  The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (M)

20. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (M) (S)


Carly Coombe is currently in her last year of Teacher's College for P/J, additionally with an Honour Bachelors Degree in English and History. When she’s not busy balancing school and work, she often volunteers her time as a Girl Guide leader for a local unit or is working on her small business, which has taken off since quarantine. She will always be found with her nose in the latest book, sometimes even ones that have not been published yet. She aspires to earn her TEFL degree and become an English and History high school teacher.
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